Plagarism is the sincerest form of flattery, but..

Over the years of running a bridal store we have had to deal with countless challenges, including copyright theft, fake reviews, fake orders, constant undercutting, forgery and well, lots of downright naughty tricks from the competition.

This is the latest and definitely the weirdest challenge so far though, this time someone is hijacking our site and passing it off as their own!  Yikes! that’s taking it a bit far.

Someone going by the name of “evening bridal shop” has started impersonating us. Now I suppose you might say it is flattering but regardless of whether it is flattering, it is definitely misleading and well, to be honest suspicious.  We can’t allow this and we are investigating and issuing a take down notice. However, in the mean time we want to notify customers that  the only domains that are “official” are zaphira.co.uk or princesssparkle.co.uk. Anything resembling eveningbridalshop is fake and not to be trusted.

We will keep you posted on how we get on with our investigations and the outcome.

UPDATE!

Hello, it as been a while since we wrote this note – but we did eventually get rid of them.  We issued multiple take down notices and eventually stamped them out.  It took a while though – at least a year.  However, it looks like they have gone for good (touch wood) as we have not seen them pop up for several months now.  Of course now we have taken the plunge and updated the post sounding the all clear we will find they are at it again :/

Zaphira Bridal The New Name for Princess Sparkle!

zaphira the new name for princess sparkle

Zaphira Bridal The New Name for Princess Sparkle!!

It has been a long time coming but we are excited to announce that we have finally taken the plunge and had a rebrand here at Princess Sparkle, or Zaphira Bridal, as we will be known going forward.

We will still be keeping the name Princess Sparkle visible both on the site and in communications as we receive a high level of customer recommendations and do not wish to confuse anyone looking for us and also want to keep customer confidence that we have built up over the years in our brand.

We feel after much thought and deliberation, that over the nearly ten years since we started our website that our product had changed substantially and ‘grown up’ if you like, along with our average customer. Our name has served us so well in the formative years, when we sold lots of inexpensive tiaras for bridesmaids, flower girls and proms etc, with the emphasis on style on a budget.

Although we still, and always will, strive to offer the finest quality and style at the best prices possible, the name Princess Sparkle just does not properly represent the fabulous, eclectic and sophisticated collections we are now proud to be associated with and to offer to the discerning modern bride.

Now that we have evolved and grown up we feel that a new name, more befitting the beautiful, high quality wedding and occasion accessories we now offer, is in order. So, welcome to Zaphira Bridal by Princess Sparkle. We hope you love the new name as much as we do and here’s to another successful and sparkling 10 years X

Card Stream / Charity Clear Payment Gateway for WooCommerce

Introduction

Here at Princess Sparkle we have used lots of different payment providers to take payments from customers.  One we rate the quite highly is called Charity Clear.  We found they are about right for a small to medium sized provider whose turn over is measured in thousands rather than millions!

If you use WordPress to run your store and you want to use Charity clear (or CardStream) as payment provider like we have then you will need a payment module.  Since we had to write a module  for our use we are sharing it here with you. Its free, and of course comes with no warranty :).

Since Charity clear uses CardStream as its provider you will find it works well if you you use CardStream direct.

 Download  and Install

Installation

  • Download the module from the git hub page. You can either use the git tools or from your browser
  • Unpack/Zip: The module should be unpacked and placed in the appropriate modules directory. Generally this is the wp-content/plugins directory found under your wordpress install.

woocommerce_cardsave_filezilla

  • Enable: Enable the module by going to admin/modules and enabling it. It is found under the Commerce – Payment modules group.

Stanga Strapless Panties-Say Goodbye to VPL!

Stanga Strapless Panties

Stanga Strapless Panties!

Us girls have no doubt all experienced the horror that is the VPL (Visible Panty Line) at some point in our lives. VPL is the hideous effect that knicker elastic can have when it cuts into our hips, bottoms and thighs, giving us lovely little rolls of fat that we didn’t even know we had! The dreaded VPL can occur at any age and on any size woman and has nothing to do with being overweight (although it sure makes you feel that way!) Whether it be skinny-fit jeans or slinky summer dresses VPL can strike when you least expect it and ruin the look, and sometimes even the comfort, of your outfit.

Now while Visible Panty Line is obviously never desirable at any time the absolute last time you want this to happen is on your wedding day. If you are wearing a wedding dress in a very lightweight fabric such as chiffon, especially if the dress is close fitting or bias cut, VPL can be a particular problem. It may even stop you from wearing the gown you actually want to wear as it can ruin the look of this type of dress so easily. Let’s face it nobody wants a lumpy looking bottom or hips captured for eternity in their wedding photos!

Well girls, worry no more, the solution is just a click away. The fabulous people at Poirier, distributed in the UK by wedding lingerie experts Jupon Ltd, have been designing underwear and shapewear for decades. Specialising in bridal underwear solutions they have created Stanga Strapless Panties, the worlds first and only strapless panty.

This innovative piece of lingerie is self adhesive and is designed to be totally invisible under clothing and due to the fact that it is ‘strapless’ it negates the use of lateral elastics which cause the unsightly bulges known as VPL.

The Stanga Strapless Panties use a new generation adhesive which has been specifically designed to hold the panties securely in place whilst being incredibly gentle to remove (be assured ladies, removing the Stanga panties is not akin to waxing, we swear!)

The Stanga Strapless Panties are fully washable with warm water and therefore reuseable. They are available in a choice of colour; Ivory,  Black and Skin-tone and in sizes small medium and large.

So ladies, what’s stopping you? Check out the Stanga Strapless Panties and free yourself to wear anything you like without the fear of the dreaded VPL. What VPL, I hear you ask!!

 

North Cyprus

Ever considered getting married in North Cyprus?  Well you would not be alone if you had, in fact it is one of the north-cyprusfastest growing destinations for getting married abroad.    Cyprus has lot going for it, scenery, weather and some lovely friendly locals!

If you fancy it then why not contact a local expert  who could help you with the arrangements an planning to  make your weding day one to rememener?    North Cyprus Weddings are experts in this planning weddings and have helped many UK brides arrange their wedding in Cyprus.  Take a look and see what you think!

 

 

Now for something a little different! – Dawn’s Medieval Dresses

dawns-medievel-dresses

Ever wanted to feel like a medieval princess? Well, you are not alone if you do,  in fact it in recent years themed weddings have been increasing in
popularity and in particular the medieval theme!

Okay, you ask but where do I get a medieval style dress, my local bridal shop doesn’t have them and I don’t want to get married in something from a fancy dress shop! Well check out the talented Dawn who creates her own high quality range of beautiful medieval and Gothic influenced dresses. Dawn’s stunning creations are based upon authentic
styles and designs from the period. She has some truly fabulous gowns at amazing prices. Well worth a visit – you never know you could be getting married as Maid Marian or Princess Fiona!

http://www.dawnsmedievaldresses.co.uk

 

Note Dawn recommends the Jupon 116

 

Charity Clear Payment Processor

The problem: PayPal:

Some time ago we took the decision to review our payment processing options.  Basically, we wanted to improvet he way we took payments from our  Charity Clear Logocustomers.  We felt that PayPal alone was not enough and really a lot of customers complained about us using them as a primary option to make payments.  Personally, we have found PayPal okay but we do understand a lot of unethical and unprofesional sites use them so we understood why our customers were not happy.  In some cases refusing to buy from us until we offered them another method of payment!   We have always offered bank transfer for customers who for various reasons, normally around security, don’t like entering card details. This bank transfer proved to be a surprisingly popular option.   Sadly though,  it is not for everyone – especially as not everyone has internet banking and well, it can just be slow and problematic accepting payments this way.  What we needed is a method that is instant and doesn’t have the poor reputation that Paypal has  with some of our customers.

The solution: Charity Clear

However, if we were to replace PayPal as the primary payment method of choice we wanted a reliable and easy way for our customers to make payments.  We looked around and found company called Charity clear who were offering this service, however there is a twist – they are donating all of their profits to charity.  So every time we sell an item on our site some money goes to a charitable organization.  We felt this was a compelling reason and we now feature them as our primary method of payment.  To be honest, we couldn’t be happier as our customers have had lots of success with making payments – in fact we have had not problems whatsoever – touch wood!

 

 

Choosing the Right Wedding Petticoat for Your Dress

At last you’ve done it! After trying on dozens of wedding dresses and looking at hundreds of pictures you have finally found ‘The One’, the dress of your dreams. Now you have the potentially daunting task of deciding if you need an wedding petticoat or not and if so, selecting the correct style to show off your gown to its full potential. We understand that this can seem overwhelming when presented with a vast array of wedding petticoats in various different shapes and sizes some with hoops, some without so we have prepared this simple guide to the most popular wedding dress shapes to help you to decide if you need a petticoat and if you do, to assist you in choosing the perfect style for your dress.

A wedding petticoat or underskirt can really make a huge difference to the look and feel of your gown as well as providing practical benefits. If your wedding dress is full skirted then an underskirt will help to hold the shape of the skirt and also show of any detail such as beading or embroidery. If you have a full skirted bridal dress in a heavy fabric or sometimes lots of layers, then a wedding petticoat with hoops can be essential to ensure that your dress looks as beautiful as the designer intended.

There are a number of practical reasons why you might wish to consider a wedding petticoat, one being their ability to keep the dress fabric away from your legs. The last thing a bride wants to worry about  as she walks down the aisle is her dress getting wrapped around her legs as she walks!. An underskirt with a hoop will effectively hold the skirt of your gown away from your legs allowing you to walk with confidence down that aisle! This can be even more important if you are also getting married somewhere hot. Wedding dresses tend to be incredibly warm to wear – just think of all those layers, dress fabric, linings, net – a hooped wedding petticoat will allow a lot more air to flow around your legs helping to keep you cool.

Another plus of a wedding petticoat, especially one with hoops, is that they can sometimes mean the difference between having to have the length of your hem altered and not.

No bride wants to incur more expense at an already very expensive time and if you dress is just a little too long a hooped petticoat can just bring up the length by that crucial amount meaning you may be able to avoid that costly alteration!

 

Fishtail / Mermaid Wedding Dresses.

wedding petticoat -fishtail
amanda wyatt mila. Fishtail wedding gown. Try Jupon wedding petticoat 189

If you are wearing a gown with a fishtail or mermaid style skirt such as the and feel you require an underskirt consider the Jupon 189, Jupon 190 and Jupon 191.

The Jupon 189 has no hoop and uses flared net to give shape to your gown. The Jupon 189 wedding petticoat gives quite a soft, unstructured look due to its lack of hoop and may be suitable for lighter weight dresses or if you just want to hold the shape of your skirt without adding too much additional fullness.  The gorgeous Mila by Amanda Wyatt (pictured) is a perfect example. The Jupon 189 will gently hold the shape of a skirt of this style without giving a very full, structured look.


If you feel that you would like more fullness and more structure the Jupon 190 wedding petticoat is the same shape and size as the Jupon 189 but has the addition of one plastic coated metal hoop towards the hem of the underskirt to add fullness and hold the shape of heavier fabric skirts.

wedding petticoat jupon 190 fishtail
Brogan by Amanda Wyatt, Mermaid gown. Try Jupon wedding petticoat 190

The pictured gown, the stunning Brogan wedding gown from Amanda Wyatt’s Blue Iris collection gives a good idea of the look that can be acheived by wearing the Jupon 190 wedding petticoat with your fishtail or mermaid gown. The addition of the hoop underneath the net helps to create as much fulness as possible whilst holding the sexy shape of this style dress and helping to ensure any detail on the skirt shown off to perfection.



If you have chosen a fishtail or mermaid weding dress which has a train with detail that you wish to show to its full potential the Jupon 191 may be the style for you. The Jupon 191 wedding petticoat again has the same basic shape as both the Jupon 189 and the Jupon 190 and is slim fitting around the hips and thinghs before flaring into fullness towards the bottom. In addition to its one plastic coated metal hoop, the Jupon 191 also has a fabulous medium sized flared net train at the back. This will help to hold the shape and support to the train of your dress and make sure that any beautiful detail is not concealed in folds of fabric.

Dresses shown are the elegant Amari from Amanda Wyatt’s Blue Iris collection (left) and the stunning Hollywood Dreams Lauren (right) from the 2014 collection.

 

amari-amanda-wyatt-191-fishtail

wedding petticoat Jupon 190
Hollywood Dreams Lauren, mermaid style. Jupon wedding petticoat 190 or Jupon 191


 

A-Line /Princess Line Wedding Dresses.

The A-Line shape wedding gown in one form or another is probably still the most popular style. A-line and Princess line shape skirts have a flattering shape for most figures which ensures their continued popularity. A-line dresses gracefully skim the figure and gently flare from the hip area into a medium full skirt which can help balnace out pear shape figures but also large busted frames too. The gorgeous Snowdrop gown (shown on the left) from Amanda Wyatt’s new Blue Iris collection is a good example of a traditional A-line shape.

If your gown is this style/shape or similar we would recommend the Jupon 163.

The Jupon 163 wedding petticoat has three layers of tulle over one hoop for a smooth gentle flare, which works wonderfully with many dresses. The hoop can also be removed if a softer look is desired.

If your A-line skirt is slightly slimmer than

wedding petticoat Jupon 116
Josephine by Amanda Wyatt, Slim Aline. Try Jupon 116 or similar

like the  sophisticated    Jos

wedding petticoat jupon 163
Amanda Wyatt Snowdrop, A-line skirt. Jupon 163

ephine by Amanda Wyatt (pictured right) this or you want to create as little fullness as possible – just hold the shape of your skirt, you may wish to consider the Jupon 116.

This style has two plastic coated metal hoops towards the hem but has no net so will hold the shape of A-lines wedding gowns beautifully without adding too much overall fullness. The Jupon 116 is also ideal if you are getting married somewhere hot as the lack of net does mean it is a cooler underskirt to wear!

 

 


 Fuller A-Line/Princess Line Wedding Dresses

For fuller skirted A-line and princess line gowns  the Jupon 165 wedding petticoat should be considered.

wedding petticoat Jupon 165 full a line
Nadia by Hollywood Dreams, full A line. Try Jupon 165 or similar.

This style is the same shape as the Jupon 163 with flat net and one plastic coated metal hoop but this style has five layers instead of the three in the 163. The extra layers of net mean this style will add fabulous fullness to your skirt.

The flat net ensures a smooth shape is given to your gown with no lumps and bumps showing through the fabric. The flat net styles are particulary advised for dresses in very lightweight fabrics such as chiffons.

The Jupon 165 underskirt will perfectly show off a beautiful full skirted A-line gown such as the exquisite Nadia (pictured left) which is from Hollywood Dream’s fantastic 2014 collection

 



 Full Ballgown Style Gowns

If you have decided that a full ball gown or fairytale style wedding dress is for you the Jupon 128 may just be the perfect wedding petticoat for you. If you have a gown of similar size to the pictured dresses and you want to add even more fullness or just hold the existing shape of your full skirted gown the Jupon 128 is definitely an option. The 128 has eight layers of tulle with a tier towards the hem over two plastic coated metal hoops. All the layers of net means the 128 wedding petticoat adds fantastic shape and fullness, while the two hoops adds strength to the underskirt meaning it will hold the shape of gowns in heavier fabrics and those with lots of layers. Dresses shown are the gorgeous Odette (pictured left) and Isis, both from Hollywood Dreams’ breathtaking 2014 collection.

wedding petticoat jupon 128 ballgown
Odette by Hollywood Dreams. Full, ball-gown style. Try Jupon 128 or similar
wedding petticoat jupon 128
Isis by Hollywood Dreams. Full ball-gown style. Try Jupon 128 or similar

Win a Wedding Post Box for your big day!

We noticed that wedding decorators MJRWeddings are running a competition to win free hire of a Wedding Post Box. It looks like you simply need to e-mail them your details to be entered into their draw for the chance to win the free use of a wedding post box.
MJ R Weddings
Wedding post boxes are a really nice idea that have been taking off recently so any chance to get free hire has to be worth having!

You can find more details on the competition and the services offered by MJRWeddings from their web site here

Good Luck!

Accessories Inspired By Your Favourite Flowers

Amanda Wyat Daisy Tiara

As we head further and further into winter the glorious summer days filled with sunshine and flowers seem a long way off. So here at Princess Sparkle we have decided to remind ourselves of some of our favourite summer flowers and to keep it on topic we have picked out some gorgeous accessories inspired by them.

Daisys

Daisies conjure up images of fresh glorious sunny days of our childhood – so what better way to celebrate daisies than by wearing one for your wedding.
You can do this with this adorable example from Amanda Wyatt Amanda Wyatt 1014 Daisy Inspired Example
Amanda Wyat Daisy Tiara

Pansies

As a famous poet once remarked Pansies are expressive of grace, delicacy and tenderness. The pansy is such a beautiful flower why wouldn’t you want to wear one on your big day? We have picked out a pansy themed piece Jenna Crystal Pearl
Pansy  Jenna

Anemone

The anemone is a lovely dainty flower which appears at the very start of spring and as such it often used to represent new beginnings and youth. With this in mind what could be a more appropriate flower to wear on your big day as you start out on your big adventure.
amanda-wyatt-tiara-aw1063-Anemone

Camellia

The camellia is an elegant bloom and its petals have such beautiful symmetry making it a a perfect example of a flower to be worn by an elegant bride.
tiara-camellia-bella

The Rose

No collection of flowers could possibly be complete without a mention of the ever lovely rose – we here at Princess Sparkle think you really can’t beat a rose for elegance, romance and poise. So here we have a rose inspired example
rose-flower-example